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Southside girls lose heartbreaker in overtime

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Assistant Sports Editor
CHOCOWINITY -- With tears welling up in Kieran Windley's blue eyes, the Southside player vowed that her Seahawks would be a team to be reckoned with next season.
The Seahawks came up just short of their first ever sectional championship, falling 55-53 in overtime to Pamlico County on Saturday night. The Hurricanes (15-6), the Coastal Plains No. 2 seed, advanced to next week's N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A regionals in Greenville, while Southside (14-4), the Four Rivers Conference champs, can only look to next year.
Southside returns every player off this year's group except for Sharkeysha Midgette, who had seven points and 11 rebounds in her final game. It came to an end quickly for the senior , as she fouled out with 5:49 to play in the fourth.
Jefferson isn't the only one who will be missing Midgette.
Despite having three starters -- Midgette, Diamond Campbell and Chantal Staton -- on the bench after each fouled out, the Seahawks nearly pulled out a win. But Dana Richards' bank shot from the foul line with five seconds to play gave the Hurricanes a 54-53 lead.
Southside called time with 3.2 seconds to play to try and set up a final shot, but the Seahawks were out of timeouts. Jacarte Roberson (28 points, 22 rebounds) split a pair of free throws on the resulting technical for a 55-53 advantage. Pamlico then inbounded the ball and dribbled out the final seconds to secure the win.
Missed free throws doomed the Seahawks, as they hit just 12-of-32, including 3-of-10 in overtime. Pamlico didn't fare any better, clicking on just 13-of-34.
After getting off to an ugly start, going 5:50 without a field goal to start the game, the Seahawks finally came to life in the second quarter. Campbell (15 points, six rebounds) used a personal 10-2 run in a 3:16 span to change a 10-8 deficit into an 18-12 halftime lead.
Terri Hines (14 points, 10 rebounds, eight steals) pushed the lead to eight with a jumper to start the second half. The lead grew to as many as 11, 28-17, when Shareika Ruffin (seven points, seven rebounds, six steals) drilled a triple.
But the entire complexion of the game changed when Pamlico switched defenses, causing a number of Southside turnovers. The result was a 14-0 run by the Hurricanes, as they took a 31-28 lead before settling on a 33-31 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Shante Squires (13 points, 10 rebounds) had 10 points and Roberson added nine in the quarter.
Pamlico pushed its margin to six, 37-31 to start the fourth. When Midgette fouled out 2:11 into the quarter, it seemed as if Southside was in trouble. But Jefferson calmed down her team. Hines had six points in a 10-3 run to give the Seahawks a 41-40 lead.
After a couple of lead changes, Campbell hit a layup off a feed from Natalie Perez (four points, seven rebounds, one block) to give the Seahawks a 46-44 lead with just under a minute to play. But Roberson hit two free throws a short time later to send the game into overtime.
Campbell joined Midgette on the bench after picking up her fifth foul just seven seconds into the extra session. Shannon Rice (seven points, four steals, four rebounds) hit both free throws for a 48-46 Pamlico lead.
Perez answered at the other end with a jumper. Pamlico reclaimed the lead, but Hines tied it again with a free throw, coming off a Perez block at the other end.
Staton (six points, five steals) gave the Seahawks a 52-50 advantage on a layup, and it was 53-51 after another Hines free throw with 30 seconds left. After the Hurricanes pulled within one, Hines missed two free throws with 15 ticks remaining.
Pamlico took advantage, as Richards hit the jumper for what proved to be the game-winner.
Members of the Seahawks cried while accepting the sectional runner-up trophy, and are already anxious to do even better next season.
NCHSAA playoffs
Class 1-A, sectional championship
PAMLICO COUNTY (55)
Jacarte Roberson 28, Shante Squires 13, Rice 7, Richards 4, C. Jones 2, B. Jones 1, D. Jones, Easley.
SOUTHSIDE (53)
Diamond Campbell 15, Terri Hines 14, Midgette 7, Ruffin 7, Staton 6, Perez 4, Windley, Knight, Smith.
Pamlico County 7 5 21 13 9 -- 55
Southside 4 14 13 15 7 -- 53